As I started into The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun, I had an overwhelming moment in which I suspected I was about to be disappointed by the book. Thankfully, I don’t put down a book at the first sign I might not like it (though I might pause indefinitely), and by the middle of the first chapter I was really enjoying the book. That trend continued until I finished the book, at which point I was mildly saddened that it was over. (But since the book was about happiness, after all, I knew that I couldn’t remain sad for too long. ;))
Part memoir, part positive psychology, part autobiography, part home organizing tips, and part personal productivity, The Happiness Project is a happy mix of Gretchen Rubin’s thoughts and experiments with her “pursuit of happiness.”
Gretchen Rubin wasn’t living in abject poverty, suffering from chronic depression, or going through a major life trauma when she decided to begin her “happiness project.” On the contrary, she was fairly successful in life, in a happy monogamous marriage, had two young daughters, and was not facing any major life crises at the moment. Yet, even at that point in life she considered that she could likely be living life in a way that left her feeling more fulfilled, and set about to pursue that goal over the space of a year, with one month given to focusing on a specific area to improve.
Gretchen began by categorizing and identifying the areas she wanted to improve: